The next installment in Mick Herron's wry, clever CWA Gold Dagger-winning Slough House series.
The Bond-esque River Cartwight and his group of defunct MI5 spies, headed by the irascible Jackson Lamb, will do anything to get back into the game. When a member of London's Slough House - MI5's stable for disgraced spies, so-called "slow horses" - is kidnapped by a former soldier bent on revenge, the agents must risk treason and breach Regent's Park to steal intel in exchange for their comrade's safety. But the kidnapping is only the tip of the iceberg as they are caught in a conspiracy that threatens the future not only of Slough House but of MI5 itself.
Mick Herron's previous Slough House novel, Dead Lions, won the 2013 CWA Gold Dagger, garnering attention both in the US and UK. These thrillers are complex and contemporary, with an unexpected dose of sly humor. Herron is steadily gaining traction each year in the US, and the film rights to this series have been optioned.
©2015 Mick Herron (P)2016 Recorded Books
"Funny, clever.... Genuinely thrilling. The novel is equally noteworthy for its often lyrical prose." (Publishers Weekly)
"Delightful...with a dry humor reminiscent of Greene and Waugh." (Sunday Times)
"A great romp." (BBC Front Row)
Do yourself the favor of hearing this series in order: Slow Horses,Dead Lions,Real Tigers. Crossing my fingers hoping these very special, damaged, fried spooks will return for books four,five,and more..
I like Mick Herron's writing style, characters, and story line a lot, and will continue to read all of the books in the Slough House series (keep 'em coming). That said, I thought this novel was good, but not quite as inspired or "effortless" as previous books.
I think Herron has stumbled onto something unique with his "Slough House" series. He is smart to capitalize on this real-estate. The characters are funny, flawed, quirky, under-estimated, desperate, and skilled. The combination of personalities, combined with a gritty atmosphere, creates a sense of place that is just waiting to be filled with intrigue, and something sinister.
Fair warning: there are quite a number of characters in this world, and occassionally one of them will be introduced by name and take part in what's happening. If you are not clear about who this character is, it can be a little confusing. If you are good at keeping track of names and characters, this will not be a problem for you. (some of us need a reminder about who this person is, like an identifying characteristic, or a visual descriptor, subtly mentioned while the character is coming into the scene).
Herron will occasionally indulge the reader in side-stories that do little to advance the plot, or will reward faithful listeners with little nuggets from previous books. This endears the reader, and is a testament to his skill as a writer. However, I would feel more rewarded if Herron sharpened the plot instead, and kept the characters and story in line.
I have read more than half a dozen novels by Herron, and appreciate that he always has a solid plot (beginning, middle, end), and the plot always makes sense, and I am always satisfied with the ending. I appreciate that in any author I read, and think it is worth acknowledging here.
This book starts slowly, and is in the nature of hey John LeCarre - not a Tom Clancy – book.
There are no likable characters in the book, however you want to pull for the least in likable.
I appreciate that the author did not wrap everything up with a tidy bow. Instead, much mysteryremains at the and of the book
The ending makes his entire book worthwhile.
After listening for 4 1/2 hours I quit. I have little idea as to what's going on. I'm finding it difficult to keep up with the characters. The narrator is boring to listen to. The dialog is tedious and often filled with gratuitous sarcasm that seems to have no purpose. I have no idea what attracted me to this book in the first place. By now you probably have realized I don't like Real Tigers.
This third book in the series is just as unique and charming as the previous two. Though I think this book is the funniest by far. I laughed out loud many times throughout. The writing is witty and compelling, and the story fun and fast-paced. If you enjoy spy thrillers, but want a fresh take, this book might be for you.
If you are new to the series, I would definitely recommend reading the first two books before reading this one.
Gerard Doyle's narration is, as always, excellent.
System and software engineer from the UK now living and working in Silicon Valley.
I didn't always like this as it went on. But maybe that's because I am used to reading things that only go predictably well. Nothing in this went the way I was expecting, it wasn't predictable. I thought a statement foreshadowed a payback later, but no, it didn't. It could have, but that's not how it went down. It got to an end I was happy enough with, I wasn't vested in some of the hoped for outcomes, so I wasn't disappointed when they didn't all pan out. I don't do spoilers, so that's all you are getting. Would I recommend it? I'd give it to my family to read or listen to, yes.
I think so. My favorite thing about this book was the language and turns of phrase. So I think I would appreciate this even more on a second listen.
River: He was young and cute. He tried really hard. But.......
The ending was PERFECT!
If you root for the underdog, have ever had a bad boss, and like to laugh in the face of adversity, you will like this book.
Avid reader. Baker. Musician. Did I say avid reader?
I never read the print version, but both narrators (of Real Tigers and the previous book, Dead Lions) are great. I was sorry to find that the second book had a different reader but ended up loving them both.
Very Smiley's People, lots of spy stuff, gritty and a bit depressing but ultimately hopeful books. I don't read a ton of this kind of book so don't know who to compare them to.
Both Dead Lions and Real Tigers are great, the characters, though super annoying and even despicable, are fantastic and engaging and very real. Worth a listen!
In my mind, I've put my finger on why it's hard for me to keep track of characters in such a book. I put some of the blame on myself, that I have a short attention span (i do), or I've blamed it on the setting, that I have a hard time with names in other languages. Well, I'm going to spread a bit of the blame onto the authors. In a book such as this, the characters are formally introduced. They are named, and what follows is a page or two of description. With my attention span, I quickly forget who is who, and when listening, it isn't easy to go back and find the passage reminding you of this character's background and quirks. In other words, I was quickly disoriented and fatigued with this listen. I can now appreciate authors who introduce their characters by doing, not saying. As an Anglophile and Gerard Doyle fan, I really wanted to like this book. I tried really hard. I ended up knowing I should appreciate the character depth, dark humor, and political shrewdness the English seem to breath. But I just felt icky. And tired. Perhaps I'll try the hardcover for the sequel.
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